EU Rule of Law Report: Member States should improve journalists’ working conditions

The European Commission published its second EU-wide report on the Rule of Law, with a Communication assessing the situation in the EU as well as in dedicated country chapters on each Member State. The report examines new developments since the first report last September and takes into account the impact of the pandemic. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes that the report tackles the deteriorating situation of journalists’ safety as well as obstacles such as lack of transparency or political interference and calls on the Member States to improve the conditions and legislation for media workers. The methodology behind…

Takeaways of webinar “Trust in media: Trends, skills and training in journalism”

On 23 and 24 June, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) organised a two-day webinar on trends, skills and training in journalism as part of the Trust and quality in journalism project. Invited speakers addressed what journalistic skills are needed to thrive in the digital world and how media companies and journalists’ organisations can provide support to journalists. Day 1 The first day’s speakers were media professionals from various fields who shared their insights on the latest trends in journalism and skills required. Monique Hofmann, General Secretary of the German journalists’ union, dju in ver.di, opened the webinar by emphasising…

WPFD: Safety4Journalists Survey – Have your say!

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has launched a European survey on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day, as part of a wider campaign to push for a safer and healthier working environment for journalists. “The safety of journalists has been in the spotlight in recent years as a record attacks on journalists are being made, sometimes even resulting in deaths,” says Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary. “The well-being and safety of journalists has long been neglected in the pursue of 24-hour speedy news. It is time to fulfil our duty of care for journalists’ both physical and mental health.”…

Reuters DNR 2021 – trust increased, now we need to keep audiences engaged

On 23 June 2021, the Reuters Digital News Report 2021 was published by the Reuters Institute for Journalism in cooperation with Oxford University. Apanel of experts discussed the findings for its launch. The most encouraging result of this extensive study is that the public’s trust levels have sharply risen during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, major challenges are how to build on the trust gained and to further engage high audiences. In the panel discussion, it appeared that major questions defining the future of news consumption concern how media can hold and engage subscribers, especially regarding young audiences: “It’s important to…

Ukraine: Prosecutors and police deliver public update on investigation into murder of journalist Vadym Komarov

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) has called on the Ukrainian authorities to continue to pursue the killers of Cherkasy journalist Vadym Komarov, two years after his death following a brutal attack. The call came as the head of the Cherkasy Regional Prosecutor’s Office Oleksandr Voronin and deputy head of the Cherkasy police Yevhen Rohachov updated reporters at a press conference about the progress of the investigation. During these 2 years, more than 1,700 interrogations and more than 200 investigative leads have been followed. Data from hundreds of cameras and more than 1000 phone calls have been analysed. The…

Italy: Defamation law must be reformed

A year after the Constitutional Court ruled on the unconstitutionality of prison sentences in cases of defamation through the press, on 22 June 2021 the Court issued a follow-up decision declaring art. 13 of Law 47/1948 (Press Law) not compliant with the Constitution. The Court has however declared art. 595(3) of the Penal Code, which provides for a sentence between six months and three years of prison or the payment of a fine, compliant with the Constitution, as it allows the judge to order the imprisonment only in cases of “exceptional severity”. In June 2020, the Constitutional Court invited the Italian…

Turkey: Open letter urges the European Council to strengthen its commitment to human rights in the EU-Turkey relations

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins ARTICLE 19, IPI, CPJ and 12 other human rights organisations calling on the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission to ensure that the positive agenda proposed by the EU prioritises concrete and measurable improvements in Turkey’s domestic human rights record ahead of the European Council Summit Meeting. His Excellency Mr. Charles Michel President of the European Council Her Excellency Ms. Ursula von der Leyen President of the European Commission 23.06.2021 Your Excellencies, In advance of the forthcoming European Council Summit Meeting of 24 – 25 June, we, the undersigned press…

An Italian court orders RAI journalists to reveal their sources

The Lazio regional administrative court issued a ruling on 18 June 2021 ordering the investigative programme Report, of Italian public television RAI, to reveal the sources of the journalists who produced the report “Vassalli, valvassori e valvassini”, which was broadcast on 26 October 2020, on RAI3 channel. The investigation concerns the management of public funds in the Lombardy region and the Milanese lawyer Andrea Mascetti, a close associate of the Lega party. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins Italian journalists’ organisations FNSI and Usigrai in denouncing this blatant violation of the confidentiality of journalistic sources. The court’s ruling grants…

Croatia: local newspaper dismisses journalists for criticising its bias

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its affiliates in Croatia, the Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) and the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) in condemning the daily paper Glas Istre for dismissing three journalists who openly criticised the paper’s biased editorial policy. Both CJA and TUCJ described the management’s decision to dismiss the journalists as “scandalous” and “shameful”. The three reporters who were given extraordinary dismissals, Zoran Angeleski, Danijela Basic-Palkovic and Borka Petrovic, accused in late May the daily paper’s editor-in-chief, Robert Frank, of trying to influence coverage of the local election campaign to benefit the long-dominant regional party,…

EFJ-EU Webinar: Tips and challenges for journalists covering Muslims and Islam

On 18 June, the last session of webinars aiming to improve media reporting on Muslims and Islam, funded by the European Commission (DG Justice), took place. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) invited the journalists and media professionals who participated in the online training to discuss their own media productions with experts and community representatives. Below is a summary of the challenges they faced during this process and tips and feedback received. The journalists participating in this four-part online training received constructive feedback and recommendations to improve their journalistic coverage of Muslims and Islam by Jean-Paul Marthoz, journalist and essayist…